Hi, I’m Michael Cherkassky (D17) and I will be the resident reporter for Chazen Japan, group A.
First, a confession – Japan was one of the reasons I organized the Chazen Israel tour last year. One of the perks of organizing a tour is the extra bid credit, assuring your spot on the tour. Since Japan is one of the most popular destinations at CBS, I couldn’t leave it to chance. Now, exactly a year since, I’m 40,000 feet above Alaska, en route to Tokyo.
It’s not hard to understand why Japan is the top destination for so many CBS students. Japan has such a prominent presence in global economics, history, technology and the culinary world. It’s hard to imagine a single aspect of our lives not affected by Japan in one way or another, and yet – we know nothing about Japan’s culture.
Even the “dry” facts about Japan are exciting. Tokyo is, easily, the largest metropolis in the world, with over 37 million people residing in greater Tokyo. Japan’s population is the 10th largest (127 million) and its economy size is 3rd in the world, having GDP which, at $6 trillion, is higher than UK and France combined.
Japan’s mostly urban population is shrinking. Which might seem odd given Japan enjoys both the lowest child mortality rate and the third highest life expectancy. Main drivers for that unique phenomenon is extremely low birth rate at 1.4 per woman, which prevents organic growth and virtually non-existent immigration. 98.5% of the people living in Japan are native Japanese. That’s the most homogenous population among the developed nations.
These and other factors make the upcoming week so exciting. As a former organizer, I know what to expect – it will be an amazing mix of business meetings and cultural experiences, history overview and culinary exploration. If Japan is anything like the ANA flight I’m on right now – it will be an unforgettable experience.
Stay tuned for more in the upcoming few weeks!
Michael Cherkassky, D17